LGBT-, or queer-owned businesses are businesses owned and often operated by members of the LGBTQIA+ community. They may also be described as being owned by specific subgroups, such as gay-, lesbian-, or trans-owned businesses.

Visibility of queer-owned businesses is an important part for the community and many businesses cater specifically to marginalized people by offering products that are not otherwise widely available.[1] They are commonly more likely to have difficulty acquiring financial backing.[2]

Some government institutions and municipalities have special programs to support minority-owned businesses and have started to include LGBT-owned businesses in such programs.[3]

In 2022, Charlie Sprinkman created the website Everywhere Is Queer to help promote queer-owned businesses around the world.[4][5]


Cape & Cowl is among notable LGBT-owned businesses in Canada.


Paco Ruiz opened Club Paco Paco (later known as Paco's Ranch) in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, in December 1989. According to Ed Walsh of SFGate, "At the time, Jalisco didn't have formal laws against homosexuality. But police and regulators often targeted gay-owned businesses for shakedowns because, without political connections or meaningful support in the broader local community, they were vulnerable."[6]

United States

Santé Bar, Portland, Oregon

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are approximately 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses as of 2024.[7] The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), a nonprofit organization that serves as a certifying body for Certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs),[8] says LGBTQ+ owned businesses are at least 51 percent "owned, operated, managed and controlled by a person or persons who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community (including non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals)".[9] New Jersey is the first state to have an official certification process.[10][11] In addition to the certification, the US government Small Business Administration has a program to promote LGBT-owned businesses.[12][13]

The Greater Seattle Business Association, described as "a business chamber for LGBTQ and allied businesses", was established by nine gay business owners in 1981.[14] In 2021, New York City recognized LGBT-owned businesses as part of their program to support and promote minority-owned businesses to provide mentorship, consulting and access to government contracts that promote minority owned businesses.[3]

In an interview with Axios, the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce executive director, Grace Moreno highlighted that there is a high demand for inclusion in the community and that "young people in particular are more willing to go out of their way to support LGBTQ-owned stores, bars, restaurants and other businesses."[15]

In 2023, a community group celebrated the first annual LGBTQ+ business week to "support queer-owned businesses while simultaneously raising awareness around economic issues for the community."[16] In 2024, it will be celebrated the week of December 2.[17]

List of notable LGBT-owned businesses in the United States

See also


  1. ^ "Queer-owned Small Businesses: How To Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month And People All Year Round". 16 February 2022. Archived from the original on 1 December 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  2. ^ Fox, Michelle (2023-06-30). "LGBTQ small business owners struggle to find financing". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2024-01-19. Retrieved 2024-05-16.
  3. ^ a b "New York just became the biggest city to make LGBT-owned businesses eligible for billions in government contracts for minority entrepreneurs". Business Insiders. 19 January 2021. Archived from the original on 11 August 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  4. ^ "'Everywhere Is Queer': New worldwide map highlights LGBTQ-owned businesses". NBC. 17 April 2022. Archived from the original on 11 August 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  5. ^ "Everywhere is Queer app cements a digital hub for LGBTQ businesses". Mashable. 20 February 2024. Archived from the original on 11 May 2024. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  6. ^ Walsh, Ed. "How Puerto Vallarta became the Bay Area's favorite LGBTQ getaway". SFGate. Archived from the original on 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2024-05-16.
  7. ^ Blossom, Priscilla (2022-06-02). "29 LGBTQ-Owned Businesses to Support During Pride Month and All Year Long". Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on 2024-03-29. Retrieved 2024-05-16.
  8. ^ Roth, Madison (2023-11-02). "What You Need To Know About How To Get Your Business LGBT Business Enterprise Certified | Lavender Magazine". Archived from the original on 2023-12-06. Retrieved 2024-05-16.
  9. ^ "LGBTQ+ business owners share successes and challenges they face". NBC News. 2023-06-30. Archived from the original on 2024-04-12. Retrieved 2024-05-16.
  10. ^ Munoz, Daniel. "NJ law provides certification to LGBTQ+ businesses, unlocking contracting opportunities". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 2024-05-17.
  11. ^ Reitmeyer, John (May 13, 2024). "NJ state certification for LGBTQ+ businesses a first". NJ Spotlight News.
  12. ^ "LGBTQ-owned businesses". Small Business Administration. Archived from the original on 15 May 2024. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  13. ^ "The Definitive Guide for LGBTQ-Owned Business Enterprises". 4 June 2019. Archived from the original on 31 October 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  14. ^ "This non-profit supports LGBTQ businesses throughout Washington". 2020-10-21. Retrieved 2024-05-28.
  15. ^ "Massachusetts' love for LGBTQ-owned businesses". Axios. 9 June 2023. Archived from the original on 28 September 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  16. ^ "A First-Of-Its Kind Business Week Just Launched To Support And Uplift The LGBTQ+ Community". MSN. 11 November 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  17. ^ "LGBTQ+ Business Week". Archived from the original on 11 December 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  18. ^ a b c d "LGBTQ-Owned Businesses in Seattle | 2023". Seattle Metropolitan. Archived from the original on 2024-01-15. Retrieved 2024-05-16.
  19. ^ Kirouac, Matt (2023-05-26). "30 Great LGBTQ+-Owned Restaurants To Visit In The US". Tasting Table. Archived from the original on 2023-08-04. Retrieved 2024-05-16.
  20. ^ Tirone, Stella (June 6, 2022). "From Boutiques To Tasty Eats, These Are The Top LGBTQ-Owned Businesses In San Francisco". San Francisco Magazine.

Further reading